Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Craven Images

Any time our home state, Oklahoma, gets itself into the news it's always for something either horrific, or vaguely embarrassing! This time, thankfully, it's the latter. It's a variation on the old controversy about depictions of The Ten Commandments being displayed in State buildings or on State property. If I recall correctly The Ten are displayed in the foyer of a public building in our town - the courthouse, I think. I remember doing a "tsk tsk" as I walked past last time we were in there. It wouldn't rankle half as much if those displaying The Ten would live up to 'em. "Thou shalt not kill!" that one didn't take, did it? And what about the warning against graven images - could it not be argued that a sculpture or any display of The Ten is nothing more than a graven image?

This latest news has a lighter side to it - it's another "if you didn't laugh you'd cry" moment. From The Daily Mail:

Satan worshipers want 7-foot-tall statue of devil put at Oklahoma state Capitol

The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds. The application includes an artist's rendering of Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard. They want it to sit where a Ten Commandments monument sat in 2012. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.......................

The push by the Satanic Temple has rankled elected leaders in this conservative state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt, who say such a proposal would never be approved by the commission.

'I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland,' said Don Armes, Republican representative for Faxon.

'I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here.'

While Greaves acknowledges the Satanic Temple's effort is in part to highlight what it says is hypocrisy of state leaders in Oklahoma, he says the group is serious about having a monument placed there.

Wonder how it'd go down if I put in an application to have a sculpture in the Capitol grounds depicting the ecliptic with signs of the zodiac ?


anyjazz said...

If this gets enough press, it should be interesting how it plays out. One of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ We shall do our best to hide our embarrassment.

As Scottish poet Robbie Burns (birthday anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks), wrote long ago:

“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion.”

― Robert Burns, The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns.

James Higham said...

could it not be argued that a sculpture or any display of The Ten is nothing more than a graven image

No, it can't. It's a reference to something else substituting for God or artistic representations of Him.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ It is a representation of his alleged words though, but I'll take your word for it.

Government buildings/property are still the wrong, wrong, wrong place for such things.
Separation' all that.

mike said...

The Baphomet (perhaps an Abraxas) has a pagan and spiritual origin. Best to read the Wiki page in entirety to follow the process. Knights Templar used this symbol and other Abraxas. The main symbolic transference to "devil worship" that I can visually detect is the inverted Star of David pointing down.

"Since 1856, the name Baphomet has been associated with a "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Eliphas Lévi, which contains elements (of male and female, good and evil, etc.) representing the "sum total of the universe". However, Baphomet has been connected with Satanism as well, primarily due to the adoption of its symbol by the Church of Satan."

... "Later in the 19th century, the name of Baphomet became further associated with the occult. Eliphas Lévi published Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie ("Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic") as two volumes (Dogme 1854, Rituel 1856), in which he included an image he had drawn himself which he described as Baphomet and "The Sabbatic Goat", showing a winged humanoid goat with a pair of breasts and a torch on its head between its horns (illustration, top). This image has become the best-known representation of Baphomet. Lévi considered the Baphomet to be a depiction of the absolute in symbolic form and explicated in detail his symbolism in the drawing that served as the frontispiece:

The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of occultism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyne of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast's head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyne arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences."

mike (again) said...

Ooops...I said "Star of David" pointing down"...I should have identified it as the pentagram.

mike (again) said...

When the discussion turns to evil, I always remember Isabel Hickey's, "Evil is live spelled backward."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ There's the link to mid-19th century mysticism again! There was definitely "something in the air" back then, not always in a good way!

Nowadays, when depictions of the devil are mentioned, my mind goes straight to Arthur C. Clarke's novel "Childhood's End", where it turns out that alien Overlords who have transformed humanity in preparation for its end, when they eventually reveal their appearance, look uncannily like man's depiction of the devil.
I've rattled on about it in a post last year, or year before I think, but a good rundown on this part of the plot is at Sparknotes:

The novel is, I guess, 20th century mythology in the guise of sci-fi. :-)

mike (again) said...

I just read your sparknotes link..."Childhood's End" sounds deeply fascinating and, as you noted, part of our story...mythical.

I've long thought that, if there is a hell, this is it! Sort of like the Lucifer myth, separation-from-oneness-angst at its best.

I've only read the summary at sparknotes, not the book, but there is a supposition that the people were in hell prior to the Overlords, albeit the summary infers that the Overlords took adult humans to hell, and the evolved children to heaven.

I did find your post ( and you said, "Already I'm beginning to feel that today's young generation belong to a subtly different race from the one to which I belong myself."

Yes, the youth DO seems to be going a very different direction! Did every old fuddy-duddy think this in generations past?! I do believe that technology is offering a vast departure in our evolution...result yet to be determined.

Twilight said...

mike ~ The theme of "Childhood's End" has managed to lodge itself in my memory, while recollection of some other sci-fi/dystopian novels I've read has faded rapidly. That's trademark of a good author I suppose.

Yes, Overlords did what their master, Overmind, demanded in order to achieve their goal, did it in subtle, clever, maybe insidious ways, taking their time....because, I guess, time for them was on a different scale from Earth time.

That's the post I was thinking of - yes.

It's hard to say whether the differences we're sensing in today's youth is comparable to, or different from, those sensed by elders in young people in past times. All is relative. I do think changes in the past couple of decades - differences in young people brought about by them - have become more rapidly evident than ever before in past eras, making the gulf between older and younger people's sensibilities wider than it has ever been in the past.

Whether this counts as beneficial evolution of some kind, or simply the road to Hell hasn't yet become clear.

horoscope said...

The knights Templar are a myth thought up only in Victorian times.
The whole story is just that, a story

Twilight said...

horoscope ~ As are most things when you get right down to it.